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Rolan Bell (Theo Kelly, 'EastEnders')

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Rolan Bell (Theo Kelly, 'EastEnders')
At the end of last year, EastEnders producer Diederick Santer hinted that 'something truly frightening from Patrick Trueman's past' was to rear its head in early 2009. Here we are in February and the mysterious Theo Kelly - played by soap newcomer Rolan Bell - recently walked into Walford with a seemingly hidden agenda for the local Minute Mart owner. So just who is Theo and what does he want with or from Patrick? We gave Rolan a call to find out more.

What can you tell us about Theo? Where has he suddenly appeared from?
"Theo's grown up in a one-parent family in Brixton. He's a well-to-do guy and he's the eldest of his brothers and sisters - he's actually one of six children. He's been raised with good manners and he's definitely a mummy's boy. He's the kind of guy that wants to do right by women, but at the same time, he's a bit of a ladies' man. He's quite a gentleman and definitely old-fashioned."

Does Theo know his father?
"The father/son relationship is quite distant - almost non-existent - and I think that's why he has the attitude towards women that he has. Theo's seen the pain his mother's been through and he has quite a compassion for women in that situation."

How was the character pitched to you?
"I think they had their own idea as to who Theo was and what he was about - in that he's a young, charming guy with impeccable manners. But because there wasn't much of a background in the beginning, it's been quite an organic process. I didn't know much about him when I got the part."

What's been your family's reaction to you landing the part?
"They've been over the moon. The funny thing is, is that they always used to joke about me going into EastEnders and taking on Sean Slater! Or me turning up on the Square and telling someone that I'm their son! I auditioned for EastEnders a few years ago when I 'd just left drama school and, quite luckily, I didn't get the part because it was only a small walk-on role. When the audition for Theo came up, I just went for it and gave it all I could. I kept it quiet from the family at first because I didn't want them to be worrying. And then when I got the call to say I'd got the part, I went downstairs to tell my mum and it was the first time I'd seen her jump up and down for joy!"

Why is Theo in Albert Square?
"He's turned up because he has this neighbour called Tommy who's asked him to track down Patrick Trueman in connection with the Notting Hill riots. Theo's gone in undercover to warm Patrick into the whole thing. There's a very dark secret that Tommy has to tell Patrick and Tommy uses Theo to gain access to him. Because Tommy's an old, white man, he thinks it'll be easier for Theo to worm his way in with the Truemans."

Is he using Chelsea as a pawn in his game? Or does he genuinely like her?
"I think there's an element of both. Theo likes Chelsea, but he also knows that she can help him in accessing Patrick. He didn't expect to find someone like Chelsea to be thrown into the mix. There are certain things he doesn't tell Chelsea to begin with but when she begins to unravel them, it makes him look like a liar. Yes, he does lie, but he's had his reasons from the outset."

Is there potential for Theo to stay on in Albert Square beyond this storyline?
"I really hope so, but we'll just have to see what happens!"

What's it been like working with the likes of Don Gilet and Rudolph Walker?
"It's been great. They're absolutely fantastic actors and great people off-screen, too. Don is unbelievably funny. He's the type of person who can make a joke of any situation, even dust floating around! That's been one of the most calming things for me. It can be quite daunting when you start at somewhere like EastEnders, so it's been great to have such a great bunch of people to work with. Rudolph's been a great mentor, too. They're all amazing people over there."

How long are you with EastEnders for?
"You'll just have to keep watching to see where the storyline takes me!" Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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